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Anna Malaika Tubbs Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Anna Malaika Tubbs
Anna Malaika Tubbs is a non-fiction author best known for her debut novel The Three Mothers. This book was part of her PH. D. thesis at the University of Cambridge, and the research that went into it is evident.

Malaika graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Anthropology from Stanford University. She also holds an MA and PH. D. in gender studies. Currently, the author works as a DEI consultant and educator. She is married to Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, and together they have a son named Michael Malakai.

The Three Mothers
The Three Mothers celebrates Black motherhood through three women who raised some of America’s most celebrated heroes. Little has been written about Alberta, Martin Luther’s mom, Berdis, James Baldwin’s mother, and Louise Little, Malcolm’s mother.

While these women lived through different circumstances, they had a lot in common. They all believed in respect and equality for all, and they raised sons who left an undeniable mark on history. These women were born at the start of the 20th century and faced many hardships throughout their lives. They knew that society would deny their children’s humanity, so they instilled skills that would help them survive in society.

Louise Little was keen to teach her children about their activist roots from a young age.

While details about this Caribbean and biracial woman’s conception are sketchy, it is believed that a white man raped her mother. This was not uncommon in her era, and black women were often controlled using sexual violence.

Louise moved to Canada in 1917 and later met Earl Little, a Baptist minister who would later become her husband.

Together, these two worked as field organizers driving the Black independence movement across America. Louise had seven children with Earl, wrote for the Negro World paper, and spoke three languages fluently.

Berdis Baldwin, on the other hand, encouraged her son to use writing to express his feelings.

Through words, young Baldwin could dream as big as possible. The surprising thing is that Berdis only had basic education, and she didn’t have much money either. The Maryland-born woman moved to Philadelphia and then New York during the great migration and had her first child, out of wedlock, in 1924.
She later married David Baldwin, a preacher, and together they had eight more children. Despite her troubles living with an abusive husband who did little to support the family, this woman pushed her children to dream big.

Alberta Kings believed in social justice, and she was a woman of faith.

Her teachings to her children were based on her belief that everyone, black or white, was worthy of kindness and respect. While she was born in a family with resources and was the most educated of the three women, she never fully utilized her education.

During her time, a law preventing married women from teaching existed.

This is not to say that this mother of three wasted her time. She focused on tutoring her husband and Baptist preacher Michael King, directing the choir, and forming women coalitions.

So, apart from being outstanding mothers, what more do these women have in common? Well, all were born in the early 1900s. They lived through the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, and even the Great Depression.

They also survived the civil rights movement and knew firsthand what it felt like to be humiliated and looked down upon for being black. The women also suffered great personal losses. For example, Louise’s marriage was not as rosy, and when her husband died in 1931, she had to go on welfare. She was later certified insane and held in a hospital for over 25 years. She was only released right before her son’s assassination.

Alberta lost two children, Martin Luther King first and A.D. King, a year after. Emma also lost her son to cancer in the 1980s.

Common themes in this story include resilience, endurance, and ambition. In the face of sexism, racism, and violence, these women thrived and did a lot for their children. This book has done a great job reframing African American history by a much-needed perspective through these three great women. Despite the discrimination that was evident everywhere they looked, it is notable that these mothers pushed their children to act with dignity and demand the same from those who thought they were unworthy.

The mother is truly a child’s first teacher and can negatively or positively impact a child’s life. In this outstanding book, we get to see how encouraging children to dream in a world characterized by slavery at the time was in itself a form of resistance.

Reading this book, it is clear that the author did her research.

It is incredible how well she has told the stories of these three women who claimed their dignity when this was not the norm.
Their personal stories are interspersed with heartrending social and historical details, and each anecdote will leave you yearning for more. It is outstanding that the author sees through these mothers’ pain and manages to create something beautiful out of it.

Just like the author, you cannot help but wonder how these women have not been recognized for their accomplishments alongside their children.
Is it that our society doesn’t recognize the roles that women play in shaping society?
The Three Mothers is a must-read for any mother.

In most instances, mothers give of themselves, and while this is rewarding, it tends to shrink them and put them in the background. Society somehow encourages this, and women are not celebrated enough for their role in shaping the next generation.

However, all is not in vain. While there may be no public acknowledgment, a mother can push her children to be the best version of themselves. Even in modern times, a responsible mother can make a difference in her children’s lives, and the impact will be clear for all to see in the coming years. If you are a mother feeling overwhelmed by everything on your plate, knowing that it’s not all in vain is refreshing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Anna Malaika Tubbs

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